Oct. 31, 1994 San Diego San Diego County California, USA
Arlene Dorothy (Pagano) Gross was born in Cleveland on April 28, 1914, the daughter of John Anthony Hess and Vera May Williams. Her mother subsequently remarried and her new husband, Charles James Pagano, adopted her. A frequent visitor with her family to La Jolla in the 1920s, she attended elementary and high school in Cleveland but stayed in La Jolla long enough to graduate from La Jolla High School in 1932. She had a love of music and a member of the first girl's sextet at La Jolla High School under the direction of the new (1931) music teacher, Dr. Ernest H. Wilcox.
Returning with her family to Cleveland shortly after graduation, she enrolled in beauty school and became a licensed beautician. However, in 1934 the appeal of California once again brought the family back to Ocean Beach. On February 16, 1935, she married her high-school sweetheart, La Jolla resident Maurice Connally Gross, who had graduated from La Jolla High School in 1929 and was working at Security Bank in San Diego.
During World War II, she worked as a telephone operator so that the family could qualify for one of the first tract homes to be built in the Bird Rock area. When her son Donald James Gross graduated from La Jolla High School in 1957, Mrs. Gross returned to work as the front office person at the Casa de Manana retirement community in La Jolla. After 20 years at the Casa where she advanced to office manager and then to full-charge bookkeeper, Mrs. Gross retired in 1976.